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Design Elements, 2nd Edition by Timothy Samara

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(F39)_Job:12-40337 Title:RP-Design Elements 2nd Edition
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TEXT
the world of image
204
Photography The “pure” photographic
image has become the preeminent form of
imagery used in visual communciations
in recent years. One reason for this might
be the speed at which photographs transmit
information—their realism and direct-
ness allow a viewer to enter the image and
process it very quickly, rather than get
distracted by abstract pictorial issues such
as texture, medium, and composition.
Access speed in imagery has become im-
portant because the flood of visual
messages encountered by the average view-
er requires images to compete robustly
for attention; the faster a viewer is able to
recognize an image’s subject and under-
stand its significance, it may be reasoned,
the more likely they are to invest continued
attention—or, at the very least, retain some
information if they decide to move on.
While composition plays an important
role in the quality of the photographic
image and its messaging potential, its
presence as a mediating phenomenon is
much harder to recognize and, therefore,
is often overlooked on a conscious level by
the viewer. This suggests another reason
for the primacy of photographs as commu-
nicators: the fact of the image’s mediation
(or manipulation)—through composition,
selective focus, lighting, cropping, and
As with any other imagery,
photographic content must
be decisively composed. The
photographer has two opportuni-
ties to control the image’s compo-
sition, however: first, within the
frame of the camera’s viewfinder;
and second, during the printing
process in the darkroom (or in
cropping a digital photograph
using software). In this study, a
minor shift in camera angle pro-
duces a variation on an already
decisive composition of elements
(A, B). Radically changing the
viewpoint (C) creates a very differ-
ent composition while retaining
the identity of the content.
A B C
MEDIA AND METHODS
Clean, neutral daylight and
meticulous styling capture the
the product’s wholesome and
sensuous qualities; the intimate
cropping exudes warmth and
honesty.
WALLACE CHURCH
UNITED STATES
Along with their common full-frame use, photographic
images also may be used as independent elements within
collages or in concert with typography.
MANUEL ESTRADA SPAIN
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